Wells Fargo & Co Boosts Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Price Target to

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) had its price objective raised by Wells Fargo & Co from to in a research report released on Tuesday morning, The Fly reports. The brokerage currently has a buy rating on the software giant’s stock.

MSFT has been the topic of several other reports. Evercore ISI reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $170.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft in a report on Monday, December 16th. Cleveland Research reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Microsoft in a report on Friday, October 18th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $169.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft in a report on Thursday, October 24th. DZ Bank reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Microsoft in a report on Monday, January 6th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $160.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft in a report on Monday, November 18th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, thirty-one have given a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company. Microsoft currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $165.97.

Shares of MSFT opened at $162.13 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $1,246.62 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.13, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.53 and a beta of 1.23. Microsoft has a 1 year low of $100.98 and a 1 year high of $160.73. The business’s 50 day simple moving average is $155.84 and its 200-day simple moving average is $143.44. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69, a current ratio of 2.85 and a quick ratio of 2.81.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 23rd. The software giant reported $1.38 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.14. The business had revenue of $33.06 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.24 billion. Microsoft had a return on equity of 39.14% and a net margin of 31.66%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.14 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Microsoft will post 5.36 earnings per share for the current year.

Microsoft announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Wednesday, September 18th that allows the company to repurchase $40.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the software giant to buy up to 3.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 12th. Investors of record on Thursday, February 20th will be issued a dividend of $0.51 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 19th. This represents a $2.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.26%. Microsoft’s payout ratio is presently 42.95%.

In other Microsoft news, EVP Jean Philippe Courtois sold 11,345 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, October 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $145.06, for a total value of $1,645,705.70. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 611,855 shares in the company, valued at $88,755,686.30. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Margaret L. Johnson sold 35,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $150.01, for a total value of $5,250,350.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 62,423 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,364,074.23. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 66,919 shares of company stock worth $9,817,790. Insiders own 1.39% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Wealthsource Partners LLC grew its position in shares of Microsoft by 5.0% during the 3rd quarter. Wealthsource Partners LLC now owns 51,337 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $7,137,000 after buying an additional 2,444 shares in the last quarter. Miracle Mile Advisors LLC grew its position in shares of Microsoft by 4.7% during the 3rd quarter. Miracle Mile Advisors LLC now owns 86,948 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $12,088,000 after buying an additional 3,915 shares in the last quarter. Global Retirement Partners LLC grew its position in shares of Microsoft by 34.6% during the 3rd quarter. Global Retirement Partners LLC now owns 65,133 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $9,055,000 after buying an additional 16,741 shares in the last quarter. AMI Asset Management Corp grew its position in shares of Microsoft by 15.7% during the 3rd quarter. AMI Asset Management Corp now owns 503,586 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $70,014,000 after buying an additional 68,174 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Penserra Capital Management LLC grew its position in shares of Microsoft by 1,170.3% during the 3rd quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC now owns 58,270 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $8,098,000 after buying an additional 53,683 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.78% of the company’s stock.

Microsoft Company Profile

Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports software, services, devices, and solutions worldwide. Its company's Productivity and Business Processes segment offers Office 365 commercial products and services, such as Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and related Client Access Licenses (CALs); Office 365 consumer services, including Skype, Outlook.com, and OneDrive; LinkedIn online professional network; and Dynamics business solutions comprising financial management, enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, supply chain management, and analytics applications for small and medium businesses, large organizations, and divisions of enterprises.

Further Reading: Sell-Side Analysts

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